The Rohingya: Humanitarian Crisis or Security Threat?

The Rohingya: Humanitarian Crisis or Security Threat?

This article is part of “Southeast Asia: Refugees in Crisis,” an ongoing series  by The Diplomat for summer and fall 2015 featuring exclusive articles from scholars and practitioners tackling Southeast Asia’s ongoing refugee crisis.All articles in the series can be found here.

To respond to the alarming rise of stranded persons in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, the Royal Thai Government organized the “Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean” on May 29, 2015 in Bangkok. The meeting was convened to address the continuing exodus of migrants and refugees from Myanmar. These refugees are mainly Rohingya, a Muslim minority group. They have been treated as “second-class” and”non citizens,” suffering from social discrimination, massive violent repression, human rights violations, and political exclusion. In addition to repressive policies by the central government, the Rohingya have also faced extremely anti-Muslim sentiments fanned partly by government-supported Buddhist fundamentalism in Myanmar.

The Southeast Asian and South Asian region has witnessed tremendous human movement – including hundreds of thousands refugees from Myanmar trying to enter neighboring countries illegally – especially Bangladesh. However, despite the increasingly dire humanitarian crisis, most of the potential host states are reluctant to accept more Rohingya refugees. One of the major reasons for this is an increasing trend in the region of viewing the Rohingya issue not solely as a humanitarian issue, but also a security and political one. As awareness has grown in both dimensions – humanitarian and security – there is a growing recognition among the international community of the need to do more than just ignoring the worsening situation of the Rohingya.

Historically, the Rohingya are predominantly Muslim and closely related to the Bengali people. Originally, many of them migrated from the Indian subcontinent towards the east into ‘Theravada Buddhist Myanmar,’ especially during the British colonial time. Relations between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar started deteriorating during the country’s liberation struggle. Relatively soon after gaining independence, the new rulers in Myanmar identified the Rohingya as economic refugees, a move that would be significant to the socio-economic composition and political power structure of the country. A policy of repression soon followed, which treated the Rohingya as illegal migrants subject to eviction.

The severity of the Rohingya migration issue can be understood as a clear result of three intermingling factors.  First is the emergence of authoritarian (military) regimes in Myanmar. Second is the consequence of a cultural confrontation between different ethnic-religious communities in Myanmar. This conflict gained significance after the military rulers attempted to assimilate religious-ethnic minorities into the mainstream Burmese culture. A strategy of an enforced cultural unification, namely Burmanization, was used as a way of “National Reconsolidation.” Third is the initial ignorance and inaction from policymakers worldwide despite the fact that the Rohingya issue was increasingly having international implications.

Today, it would seem that awareness of the Rohingya and their illegal migration is finally rising within the international community. In part, however, this new attention to the Rohingya issue stems from the tendency to identify Rohingya refugees as a “non-traditional security threat.”

In particular, there is a growing conviction among analysts that the massive influx of the Rohingyas during the last decades is creating a multidimensional security crisis. As stateless refugees, they have become the face of security threats as well as various forms of psycho-social and human security challenges in Myanmar and in their new host countries across the region like Bangladesh.

Most Rohingya who have migrated to other countries live in extraordinarily deplorable conditions. Living in forms of involuntarily and illegal self-settlement, they have to deal regularly with security forces, the unease and resistance of local communities, and restricted access to food, drinking water, sufficient shelter, and clothing. Partly as a result of these circumstances, they are often more easily targeted by criminal networks, illegal businesses, and Islamic fundamentalist groups like the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), or Harkat-ulJihad-al Islami (Huji).

This in turn leads illegal Rohingya migrants – particularly those living in illegal camps or unregistered as refugees – to be perceived as the cause of conflict. The movement of Rohingya refugees begins to be viewed through the prism of the rising challenge of controlling Islamic terrorism and political Islam in the region.

At the heart of this view is the following worry: the Rohingya problem is contributing to and is partly responsible for the rise of international jihadist movements. In more operational terms, there is the claim that the Rohingya are helping to support Islamic fundamentalism by acting as a (passive) recruiting base for Islamic militant extremists and through direct support for religious fundamentalism.

It is claimed that some radicalized sections of the refugees actively maintain links with banned Islamist groupings like JMB or Huji. Some radicalized Rohingya are accused of not only sympathizing with their fundamentalist worldview but also actively providing resources for these Islamist outfits, for example, providing training on arms and explosives. Additionally, there is the accusation that the Rohingya are using their international network to allocate funds from like-minded international organizations for militant groups operating in their host countries, especially in Bangladesh.

Rohingya have also been held responsible for the undermining of the general law and order situation in their host societies. Besides terrorism, extremist violence, and religious extremism, the Rohingya crisis is also seen as being associated with all kinds of criminal activities including narcotics, human trafficking, illegal trade in SALW (small arms and light weapons) and ammunition, stealing, armed robbery, and maritime piracy. Other major concerns are smuggling and illegal cross-border infiltrations.

Additionally, Rohingya have increasingly linked with growing rates of crimes related to extortion, sexual harassment (including prostitution and sexual slavery), killings for organs, domestic servitude, and forced labor by criminal networks in their host countries.

However, there is the tendency among authorities of host countries to ignore the fact that the Rohingya are mostly the victims and not the perpetrators in these scenarios. Rather, it seems that the general tendency up to this point has been to focus on the refugee crisis as the causal factor for the increase in security concerns.

Rohingya have also been identified by some host governments and local communities as a negative disturbance to local economies, especially when they are settling in underdeveloped regions. Some fear that the Rohingya constitute an additional demographic pressure on the already densely populated area with scarce resources. Others claim that the (mostly illegal) penetration of the refugees in regional job markets leads to further socio-economic inequalities and reduces employment opportunities for the local workforce.

Still others suggest that security measures are needed because the refugee crisis is causing instability, leading to a real reduction in trade and commerce, especially in the Bangladesh-Myanmar relations. In this context, Rohingya are also blamed by state authorities for delays in enhancing regional connectivity (infrastructure) and hampering the working relationship between Dhaka and Naypyidaw.

With bilateral talks between Malaysia and Indonesia and the earlier mentioned Bangkok conference on “irregular migrations”

Source by: http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/the-rohingya-humanitarian-crisis-or-security-threat/

on May 29, as well as other steps, the international approach to the Rohingya is finally moving from ignorance to action. But it would be naïve to think this trajectory is only due to the humanitarian crisis of the refugees. Rather, the negative impacts of illegal migration – particularly on the security side – have finally convinced the international community to act, even though this may be based on unfounded fears.

Given this, what is most important is to preserve the political will and to strengthen the decision-making procedures in order to work towards a coherent and comprehensive solution to the Rohingya problem. Attending to security concerns cannot be done at the expense of humanitarian needs.

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Employment of refugees not at expense of Malaysians, says Wan Azizah

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today gave the assurance that any approval for refugees to work in this country will not be made at the expense of Malaysians. — NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today gave the assurance that any approval for refugees to work in this country will not be made at the expense of Malaysians.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the government wants refugees to be employed to sustain life in the country, but that should not undermine the interests of the local people.

“We want them to work, but there are ways in which they can work in Malaysia without jeopardising the employment opportunities of Malaysians.

“It will also be determined whether they are really refugees (holders of UNHCR cards), and not economic refugees,” she said in reply to an oral question in the Dewan Rakyat.

Dr Wan Azizah was answering a supplementary question from Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (Pas-Sik) who had wanted to know whether the government is prepared to allow refugees to work in the country.

Dr Wan Azizah said that based on UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) statistics, Malaysia has 124,753 refugees and 48,978 asylum-seekers as of May this year.

Of the total number of refugees and asylum-seekers, 93,138 or 53.6 per cent are Rohingya, she added.

She said that currently a pilot project is ongoing to allow Rohingya UNHCR card-holders to work and the government is studying whether to maintain or amend it.

“We have a pilot project on employment in the plantation sector, at Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, but there is a problem because the Rohingya are not suitable for this type of job. In the manufacturing sector, at Gardenia Bakeries, less than 100 are employed,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah acknowledged that there have been cases of the UNHCR card being abused, citing it as an excuse when detained by the enforcement authorities for working illegally.

“When arrested, they show the card and claim immunity,” she said.

She also said that the government is in negotiation with the UNHCR to offer the services of the Royal Malaysia Police and Department of Immigration to help refine the registration of refugees now undertaken unilaterally by the UN agency. – Bernama

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Time for Asean to recognise Rohingya as an ethnic group

Time for Asean to recognise Rohingya as an ethnic group

Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani  |  Published:   |  Modified: 

LETTER | On behalf of all ethnic Rohingya, the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) welcomes the 34th Asean Summit 2019 that will be held in Bangkok from June 20 to 23.

The ethnic Rohingya hope something will be done to resolve our plight. We hope Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who will lead the Malaysian delegation, will raise the plight of Rohingya during the summit.

We believe Mahathir has the capacity to bring together all Asean member states and end the Rohingya genocide in the region.

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We are very thankful to the Malaysian government, which has hosted Rohingya refugees for many years. We hope the Malaysian government will help us by leading member states to end the genocide, which would also put a stop to human trafficking.

The Rohingya were made stateless by the Myanmar government, but we are a legitimate ethnic group. Recognition as such would pave the way for our plight to end.

During last year’s summit, Asean states reaffirmed their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Community Vision 2025 and the Leader’s Vision for a Resilient and Innovative Asean.

Heads of member states also stressed the need to find a comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities can rebuild their lives.

However, there has been no positive change in the situation in Arakan. The Rohingya continue to be victimised, especially after the fight between the Myanmar military with the Arakan Army (AA).

With the theme ‘advancing partnership for sustainability’, we hope Asean member states at the summit will give top priority to ending the Rohingya genocide. This is a very important step in achieving the Asean Community Vision 2025.

How do we ensure that we are advancing partnership for sustainability when the Rohingya genocide is ongoing? We must put an end to this in order to foster economic and political cooperation in the region.

We call on the heads of Asean member states, as well as foreign and women’s ministers, to visit the largest Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar and meet with refugees and get first-hand information.

We hope that with that information, the Asean leadership can draw a permanent solution for the Rohingya in Arakan State.

Repatriation is not the solution to the Rohingya genocide. Asean leaders must not agree to the plan to repatriate the Rohingya to Myanmar, as long as the genocide is ongoing.

We must learn from the past repatriation by the Bangladeshi and Myanmar governments, where thousands were persecuted by the latter once they arrived in Arakan. Furthermore, this will only increase human trafficking and benefit syndicates.

Currently, there are many IDP camps in Arakan established in 2012, which primarily host ethnic Rohingya.

The Myanmar government still cannot resolve this issue. Seven years have passed, but still the Rohingya cannot return to their homes.

How are we going to repatriate over one million Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar to Myanmar while the IDP issue remains unresolved?

In conjunction with World Refugee Day today, Merhrom calls upon the UN Security Council, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, world leaders and the international community to come together to end the Rohingya genocide.

We must have the political will to do so. Otherwise, our efforts and resources will be wasted. We cannot wait any further as the Rohingya genocide is already at the last stage.

We hope on World Refugee Day 2019, there is new hope for the Rohingya and the rest of the refugees around the world.

We hope that together, we can fight the crimes against humanity and end the genocide in this century.


ZAFAR AHMAD ABDUL GHANI is the president of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

source by : https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/480326

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

MERHROM WELCOMES THE GOVERNMENT MOVE IN TACKLING ROHINGYA ISSUE.

2nd JULY 2019

 Dear Chief Editors,

 PRESS STATEMENT

 

MERHROM WELCOMES THE GOVERNMENT MOVE IN TACKLING ROHINGYA ISSUE.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) welcomes the plan of the Malaysian government to placing the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the Immigration Department soon in resolving the issue of Registration of Rohingya refugees.

MERHROM would like to thank Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia for this initiative because thousands of Rohingya asylum seekers are still waiting for the registration with the UNHCR office. They do not have any document from the UNHCR while waiting for the refugee status determination process. They are classified as undocumented and at high risk of arrest and detention.

MERHROM continuosly receiving complaints from the Rohingya community that they waited for 5 years now but still cannot get registered with the UNHCR. Another Rohingya man said that he waited for 8 years now for the registration. He really hopes that this year the UNHCR will call him for the refugee status determination process.

Undocumented Rohingya asylum seekers faced many challenges especially to get treatment and to get job for their survival due to no document. All government hospitals and private clinics required a document in order to get treatment. Being undocumented denied the Rohingya from access to treatment. We hope the UNHCR will issue a letter to all Rohingya asylum seekers before they get their refugee status.

On top of that, they face difficulties to get job because the employers afraid to employ undocumented person. This makes them really in difficult situation to survive. In some cases, their salaries were not paid by the employers but they cannot claim their salary due to no document. Delay registration only exposes the vulnerable Rohingya asylum seekers to more exploitation.

MERHROM appeals to the Malaysian government to consider giving temporary work permit to the Rohingya refugees in order for us to work legally without the fear of arrest and detention. We are not going to steal the local job opportunities as we work in dangerous, dirty and difficult job which Malaysian do not want to work.

We owe a lot to the Malaysian government and the Malaysian people for their support to us. We have been seeking refuge in this country for more than 3 decades. We will continue to make significant contributions to the development of Malaysia and its economy until we can return home.

MERHROM really hope the plan to place PDRM and Immigration together in the refugee status determination process will be implemented soon to speed up the registration process for the Rohingya and subsequently to reduce the corruption.

We thank the Malaysia government for the continuos effort to resolve the Rohingya Genocide. We will never forget the support of the Malaysian government and its people for us, the survivors of Genocide.

Thank you.

 Signed,

Zafar Ahmad Bin Abdul Ghani

President

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)

Tel No:  Mbl +6016-6827287 / 011-58888505

Blog: www.merhrom.wordpress.com

Email: rights4rohingya@yahoo.co.uk

Email: rights4rohingyas@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/zafar.ahmad.

https://twitter.com/merhromZafar

 SOURCE :by  MERHROM
By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

UN urged NGOs to send security missions to Gaza

UN urged NGOs to send security missions to Gaza

source by :http://dialograkyat.blogspot.com/2014/07/ngo-desak-pbb-hantar-misi-keamanan-ke.html
Image result for zafar ahmad abdul ghani
United Nations (UN) Representative, Security and Security Department, Devendra Patel (left) met with Myanmar's Rohingya Human Rights Society President Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani at the UN Homes compound in Damansara Heights today.  - DAILY FOTO ONLINE-NIZAM ZAINUnited Nations (UN) Representative, Security and Security Department, Devendra Patel (left) met with Myanmar’s Rohingya Human Rights Society President Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani at the UN Homes compound in Damansara Heights today. – DAILY FOTO ONLINE-NIZAM ZAIN

DAMANSARA HEIGHTS – The United Nations (UN) urged to act promptly by sending peace missions to the Gaza Strip to enforce ceasefire and to monitor human rights abuses. 

The Myanmar Rohingya Human Rights Association (Merhrom) President, Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani stressed that the move was necessary to stop the massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians in the series of air raids launched by Israeli troops since last week. 

Zafar Ahmad claimed that the UN was losing its mandate when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was forced to appeal to the Israeli and Palestinian government for a cease-fire while the matter did not take place.

“It is clear that the UN has lost its mandate to provide security to its member states. 

” We have various laws, declarations and resources to save these innocent from a series of massacres, “he told reporters after handing over a protest memorandum to the guesthouse UN, here, today’s 

Memorandum submitted to UN representative, Security and Securities Department, Devendra Patel, who assured the matter will be taken seriously. The 

NGO presented eight protests and a call to the UN for the issue of violence and tyranny in Palestine The 

UN is urged to ensure that external medical teams are allowed to enter Gaza without any restrictions.

In addition, the NGO also urged allied Israeli states to stop military and financial relief immediately until the Zionist army stopped the killing of Palestinians. 

The NGO also urged UN member states to boycott all Israeli products at once to stop the killing. 

In addition, the Petroleum Exporting Organization (OPEC) is also urged to immediately stop oil-exporting activities to the Israeli-Israeli state until a cease-fire is enforced. 

In the meantime, all nations are also urged to cease economic and diplomatic ties with Israel and liberate Palestinian prisoners.

The highlight is to prosecute the former and Israeli Prime Minister on a massacre of crimes. 

“They must be brought to the International Criminal Court for the murder of Palestinians and commit crimes against humanity,” he said.

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Rohingyas are the easy prey of human trafficking

12:00 AM, May 05, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:01 AM, May 14, 2015

Rohingyas are the easy prey of human trafficking

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Kids play along the St Martin’s coast. Lately, at least three students of St. Martin’s Government School were lured or tricked into the trap of human trafficking from the island. Photo: Emran Hossain/The Daily Star
Porimol Palma with Walid Bin Habib

Rohingya youth Zafar Ahmad bin Abdul Ghani was on the run since the Burmese military junta seized power through a coup d’état in late 1988.

After months of hiding from military oppression on Rohingya Muslims — killing, looting and land grabbing — in the western Rakhine state of Buddhist-dominant Myanmar, Zafar and others fled to Bangladesh and then to India.

Failing to make a decent living, he decided to go to Malaysia that had held better prospects. Finally, he found a way — a boat journey through the Indian Ocean against a hefty pay to the agents. After two weeks of perilous journey, they landed in Thailand coast only to be arrested and sent to the detention centre.

“When we explained to Thai police our persecutions in Burma, we were released only to be handed over to other boat agents,” Zafar who has been living in Malaysia since 1992 told The Daily Star over the phone.

To cross into Malaysia, he had to pay the agents $300 that he had collected from his relatives staying in Thailand.

“I was lucky to be able to pay. I never knew the fate of others who could not,” said Zafar.

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Rohingyas in Ukhia’s Kutupalong area. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das/The Daily Star

He is one of the thousands of Rohingya men and women, who have been fleeing to Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China to escape persecutions in Myanmar.

While some could manage fake passports of other countries like Bangladesh to move to third countries such as Saudi Arabia, a large number of them took the dangerous sea journeys.

The trend began in the 1990s as the military juntas continued to rule the country, imposing discriminatory regulations on the Rohingyas who are estimated to be 1.1 million, mostly in Rakhine.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the Rohingyas were not formally recognised as Burmese national group after the country’s independence in 1948. The 1982 Citizenship Law too denied them citizenship.

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Rohingyas in Ukhia’s Kutupalong area. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das/The Daily Star

They are subject to various exploitations including forced labour, extortion, restrictions on movement, denial of residence rights, inequitable marriage regulations, and land confiscation.

Amid military oppression, some 5 lakh Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh — first in 1978 and then in 1991-92. Presently, around 32,000 refugees stay in the UNHCR-run camps in Bangladesh, while an estimated 5 lakh live outside the camps.

According to the UNHCR, some 1.4 lakh Rohingyas live in Malaysia and 1.32 lakh in Thailand, but the unofficial figure could be much higher.

Under the present reformist government formed in 2011, Myanmar saw the worst sectarian violence in 2012 that left hundreds dead and 1.4 lakh homeless, mostly Rohingyas in Rakhine province. Already grappling with the refugees, Bangladesh this time closed its door to new Rohingya influx.

Transnational human trafficking gangs, meanwhile, are cashing in on the growing desperation of the Rohingya people subjected to violence by the Buddhist mobs.

The UNHCR says from June 2012 to June 2014, some 87,000 people have departed by sea from Bangladesh and Myanmar border.

On reaching Thailand by cargo ships, each Rohingya is asked to pay a ransom worth $1500-2000 [Tk 1.2 lakh to 1.6 lakh] before being pushed into Malaysia, it said.

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At least three students of this school, bottom, and two family members of the house, above, in St Martin’s Island have been missing since they left for Malaysia falling prey to trafficking gangs. Photo: Star

“In remote jungle camps in Thailand, transnational criminal networks are beating and torturing their captives in an attempt to extract ransom payments from their families and friends,” said Matthew Smith, executive director of Thailand-based rights group Fortify Rights, in an email interview to The Daily Star.

Those failing to pay ransom are sold to the fishing industry as slave labour or forced to work in the jungle camps, international media reported.

Exhumation of 26 bodies from the mass graves in such jungle camps in Thailand’s Sadao district last week comes as yet another testimony to the horrific conditions the trafficking victims face and how many of them end up dying there.

These deaths are in addition to those killed during the sea journeys where they were either starved to death or being dumped or shot by the traffickers.

The UNHCR said that last year alone, over 200 people may have died along the route beginning at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

In some cases, Matthew Smith said, Thai authorities have been complicit in human trafficking, selling detainees to criminal syndicates, who then bring them to traffickers’ camps.

Even after crossing into Malaysia, the Rohingya men, women and children are held captive in holding houses in Penang and other northern states until ransom is paid.

“If the ransom is not paid, the person is then further trafficked or killed,” a human rights activist in Penang told this correspondent, requesting anonymity.

Zafar said that soon after they reached Malaysia sometime in 1992, he and some other Rohingyas were arrested and put in jail. Released after four months, he was handed over to the “agents” in Thai bordering areas of Kelantan, northeastern state of Malaysia, only to be extorted twice.

Eventually, he reached Kuala Lumpur and got registered with the UNHCR after months of efforts, but that was of no use as Malaysia neither has refugee camps nor provides aid to the refugees.

With no passport or legal job document, life in Malaysia has always been difficult and humiliating for him. He was arrested a dozen times there.

“I sometimes work in construction, but the pay is very low. I have a wife and three children to look after, but I can’t do much for them,” said Zafar.

“I have no state, no security of life. I feel very sad, frustrated. Often I cry and have sleepless nights,” he went on.

His tale sums up the plight thousands of stateless Rohingyas go through.

Rasheduzzaman, professor of international relations at Dhaka University, said the reformist government of Myanmar was said to be democratic, but there were no signs that its policy on the Rohingya would see a change in the near future.

Even the opposition democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been kept under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989  to 2010, is silent on it. It means the humanitarian crisis that the world sees today on the Rohingya issue may continue, he said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the international community, however, can surely play a proactive role in the process, he said.

Calls for better regional effort to stop influx of Rohingya

Calls for better regional effort to stop influx of Rohingya

zahid-rohingyaPETALING JAYA: Human rights groups claim the outflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar can only be controlled through greater regional cooperation.

Responding to a statement yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, several human rights groups claimed a durable solution to the refugee crisis can only come about if there was a greater sharing of responsibilities by countries near Myanmar.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, had said the Malaysian government would not arbitrarily issue the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) card to Rohingya refugees as it wanted to better manage their influx into the country.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” Zahid had said, but added that Malaysia did not wish to be a receiving country for Rohingya refugees whenever there were problems in Myanmar.

Alarmed by the statement, Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshini said it was important for the Malaysian government to develop common asylum practices that met with international standards of protection for refugees.

“Malaysia is a transit country for refugees and asylum seekers.

“We need to ensure Rohingya refugees are able to have protection and fully enjoy their human rights.

“The Rohingya crisis is a part of the larger global refugee crisis.

“Thus, genuine and strong commitments from Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations would go a long way towards refugee protection and assistance.”

charles
Santiago urges government to ramp up efforts to assist UNHCR to document refugees.

Klang MP Charles Santiago meanwhile urged the government to ramp up its efforts to assist UNHCR to document refugees in the country.

“The government should assist the agency as the process to document these refugees is taking too long.”

Santiago also said Zahid’s statement defeated the whole purpose of helping the refugees survive in the country.

“The Malaysian government should be proactive and consistent in their efforts,” he said.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani lamented the measures taken against refugees in the country and said, “If the government decides not to give UNHCR cards, how will the 60,000 refugees be able to survive?

“They need the card for them to at least be acknowledged as refugees and not mistaken for illegals.”

“Aside from that, they need jobs and medical assistance,” he said, stating the refugees would be unable to receive aid without proper documentation from the UNHCR.

Vice-president for the Humanitarian Aid for the Rohingya Community, Badariah Abdul Hamid, said although they supported the government’s decision to be cautious, it did not fully address the refugee issues here in Malaysia.

“The government is concerned with national security first and we accept that. However, that does not resolve the issue of their rights while they are here.

“It is not the babies dying in Rakhine that we should only be concerned about, it’s the babies dying here,” she said.

UNHCR, when contacted by FMT, said the agency had registered 60,000 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, as of July 2017.

Zahid: Malaysia tak mudah keluarkan kad UNHCR kepada pelarian Rohingya

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zahid-rohingyaPETALING JAYA: Human rights groups claim the outflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar can only be controlled through greater regional cooperation.

Responding to a statement yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, several human rights groups claimed a durable solution to the refugee crisis can only come about if there was a greater sharing of responsibilities by countries near Myanmar.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, had said the Malaysian government would not arbitrarily issue the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) card to Rohingya refugees as it wanted to better manage their influx into the country.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” Zahid had said, but added that Malaysia did not wish to be a receiving country for Rohingya refugees whenever there were problems in Myanmar.

Alarmed by the statement, Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshini said it was important for the Malaysian government to develop common asylum practices that met with international standards of protection for refugees.

“Malaysia is a transit country for refugees and asylum seekers.

“We need to ensure Rohingya refugees are able to have protection and fully enjoy their human rights.

“The Rohingya crisis is a part of the larger global refugee crisis.

“Thus, genuine and strong commitments from Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations would go a long way towards refugee protection and assistance.”

charles
Santiago urges government to ramp up efforts to assist UNHCR to document refugees.

Klang MP Charles Santiago meanwhile urged the government to ramp up its efforts to assist UNHCR to document refugees in the country.

“The government should assist the agency as the process to document these refugees is taking too long.”

Santiago also said Zahid’s statement defeated the whole purpose of helping the refugees survive in the country.

“The Malaysian government should be proactive and consistent in their efforts,” he said.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani lamented the measures taken against refugees in the country and said, “If the government decides not to give UNHCR cards, how will the 60,000 refugees be able to survive?

“They need the card for them to at least be acknowledged as refugees and not mistaken for illegals.”

“Aside from that, they need jobs and medical assistance,” he said, stating the refugees would be unable to receive aid without proper documentation from the UNHCR.

Vice-president for the Humanitarian Aid for the Rohingya Community, Badariah Abdul Hamid, said although they supported the government’s decision to be cautious, it did not fully address the refugee issues here in Malaysia.

“The government is concerned with national security first and we accept that. However, that does not resolve the issue of their rights while they are here.

“It is not the babies dying in Rakhine that we should only be concerned about, it’s the babies dying here,” she said.

UNHCR, when contacted by FMT, said the agency had registered 60,000 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, as of July 2017.

Zahid: Malaysia tak mudah keluarkan kad UNHCR kepada pelarian Rohingya

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Myanmar still silent over Rohingya migrant crisis hitting Asia

Myanmar still silent over Rohingya migrant crisis hitting Asia

DAILY SABAH WITH WIRES
ISTANBUL
Published20.05.201516:40
Updated20.05.201516:41
Refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh are rescued by Aceh fisherman in Julok, East Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, 20 May 2015 (EPA Photo)

Refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh are rescued by Aceh fisherman in Julok, East Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, 20 May 2015 (EPA Photo)

Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to allow 7,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stuck at sea to land temporarily. No solid solution to end the human tragedy has yet been provided by Myanmar

With Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis is far from over, Malaysia and Indonesia have said they will allow thousands of boat migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh to come ashore amid growing international pressure to end migrant tragedies on the Andaman Sea. The countries’ joint decision was welcomed by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which said that the cooperation between the three countries is “vital for the purpose of saving” thousands of refugees and migrants stranded in boats in the Bay of Bengal and off the coast of Southeast Asia while calling for further international action to save lives.

According to Bay of Bengal crossing statistics released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the total number of migrants confirmed landed since May 4 hit 3,200. Reportedly, 1,395 of them landed in Indonesia and 1,158 in Malaysia. It is estimated that around 4,000 migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar are still at sea waiting to be rescued.

The Malaysian and Indonesian ministers of foreign affairs made the announcement after talks, also attended by Thailand, over how to deal with the stranded migrants, mostly from the persecuted Rohingya minority in Myanmar. “Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those 7,000 irregular migrants still at sea,” Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifah Aman said alongside his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsude. “We also agreed to offer them temporary shelter provided that the resettlement and repatriation process will be done in one year by the international community,” he added after the meeting near Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are not signatories to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention that would oblige it to resettle a certain number of refugees.

The migrant crisis in Southeast Asia will continue unless the government of Myanmar can stop discriminatory policies and ethnic discrimination of Rohingya Muslims, who have fled the country due to violence. Prejudice against the minority group is widespread in Myanmar and many people refer to them as Bengali, a term suggesting they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite having lived in the area for generations.

The United States called on “governments to identify and address the root causes of the [migrant] crisis” in a daily press briefing by the State Department. During U.S. President Barack Obama’s last visit to Myanmar in November 2014, he called on the country’s government to end discrimination of Rohingyas, urging in his strongest comments on the persecuted minority that the government grant them equal rights.

“[Rohingyas] face gross human rights violations by the state, we became victims of genocide for generations and were left to die in horrible makeshift camps in our own homeland without food, water and medicine supply from the government,” Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani, president of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization in Malaysia said. “Due to the horrible situation we face in our homeland we take risks to flee the country to seek refuge in other countries,” he said.

Since the crisis erupted in Myanmar in 2012, more than 125,000 Rohingyas have fled oppression in majority Buddhist Myanmar. The U.N. considers Rohingyas to be one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Despite many families having lived in Myanmar for generations, government authorities still consider them illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. Rohingyas have long been subjected to severe discrimination and violence under the country’s previous dictatorship. The violent surge of Buddhist nationalism against minority Muslim communities in the state of Rakhine in Myanma has led to both political and religious extremism. Rohingyas are a Muslim ethnic group who are not recognized among the 134 official ethnicities in Myanmar, nor are they recognized as citizens because the government considers them illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. They are victims of statelessness, deprived of the right to nationality.

Isu Rohingya: Kuatkuasa Sepenuhnya Atipsom

Isu Rohingya: Kuatkuasa Sepenuhnya Atipsom

source by : https://ikimfm.my/isu-rohingya-kuatkuasa-sepenuhnya-atipsom/

KUALA LUMPUR 2 Julai – Pertubuhan Hak Asasi Manusia Etnik Rohingya Myanmar Malaysia (MERHROM) menggesa kerajaan melaksanakan penguatkuasaan sepenuhnya Akta Antipemerdagangan Orang dan Antipenyeludupan Migran (ATIPSOM) 2007.

Dalam satu kenyataan Presidennya, Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani  berkata langkah itu,  berupaya menanagni permasalahan pemerdagangan etnik Rohingya di negara ini dan juga di rantau ASEAN.

Beliau juga mahu kerajaan menjalinkan kerjasama erat dengan negara-negara rantau ini terutamanya Myanmar dan Thailand untuk menghentikan kegiatan pemerdagangan manusia.

Sumber BERNAMA

Kongsi Artikel ini :

BERI KEBENARAN KEPADA PELARIAN ROHINGYA MOHON LESEN MEMANDU – NGO

BERI KEBENARAN KEPADA PELARIAN ROHINGYA MOHON LESEN MEMANDU – NGO

OLEH MOHAMAD HANIF|

Sebuah badan bukan kerajaan Rohingya mencadangkan kerajaan membenarkan pemegang kad Suruhanjaya Tinggi Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu bagi Pelarian (UNHCR) memohon lesen memandu bagi mengelakkan isu pemalsuan lesen memandu terus berleluasa dan memudahkan pemantauan pihak berkuasa.

Presiden Pertubuhan Hak Asasi Manusia Etnik Rohingya Myanmar di Malaysia, Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani berkata kebanyakan pemegang kad UNHCR tahu memandu, tetapi mereka tidak memahami undang-undang dan peraturan jalan raya di negara ini yang merupakan satu daripada faktor berlaku kemalangan.

“Bagi merealisasikan cadangan ini, saya mengesyorkan Kementerian Pengangkutan melalui Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan bekerjasama dengan institut memandu dan mengadakan perbincangan bagi melicinkan pelaksanaan konsep ini.

“Setiap pemohon lesen memandu sementara itu wajib menghadiri kursus di institut memandu atau mana-mana tempat yang dipersetujui institut memandu dan JPJ, sekali gus memudahkan pihak berkuasa untuk melaksanakan pemantauan dan kawalan terhadap mereka,” katanya dalam surat kepada Perdana Menteri, Dr Mahathir Mohamad hari ini.

Surat itu turut dituju kepada Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Menteri Dalam Negeri, Muhyiddin Yassin, Menteri Luar, Saifuddin Abdullah dan Menteri Pengangkutan, Loke Siew Fook.

Zafar berkata, cadangan itu dapat meningkatkan pendapatan kerajaan dan menangani isu pemalsuan lesen memandu dalam kalangan pelarian serta pemegang kad UNHCR yang menjadi mangsa penipuan.

“Inisiatif ini (pemberian lesen memandu sementara) bakal mewujudkan satu kaedah pengumpulan maklumat pelarian dan pemohon suaka lebih komprehensif untuk memudahkan pihak berkuasa dalam memastikan mereka mematuhi peraturan dan undang-undang yang ditetapkan, sebelum mereka ditempatkan ke negara lain.”

Katanya, lesen memandu penting untuk membantu pelarian dan pemegang kad UNHCR mencari pekerjaan dan memenuhi keperluan dalam kehidupan harian.

Sumber: Free Malaysia Today

Time for ASEAN and the United Nations to act

Time for ASEAN and the United Nations to act

source by : https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/time-for-asean-and-the-united-nations-to-act/
2 Votes

May 20, 2015

Phnom Penh

READ THIS:

http://www.aseanmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/The-Rohingya-Crisis-and-the-Risk-of-Atrocities-in-Myanmar-An-ASEAN-Challenge-and-Call-to-Action.pdf

Merhrom :Time for ASEAN and the United Nations to act

by Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani@www.malaysiakini.com

The Rohingya ExodusThe Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) is deeply sad over the recent tragedy of thousands of boat people involving ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladeshis.

This is proof that ethnic Rohingyas in Myanmar are facing continuous systematic prosecutions from the Myanmar government. We face gross human rights violations by the state, we have become victims of genocide for generations and are left to die in horrible makeshift camps in our own homeland without food, water and medical supplies from the government.

Boat People 1Due to horrible situation we face in our homeland, we take risks to flee the country to seek refuge in other countries. We feel very sad to hear that thousands of boat people are turned back to sea as the neighbouring countries are refusing to give protection to new asylum seekers.

Currently, an estimated 8,000 boat people are abandoned in the ocean and have nowhere to go. How long they can survive with little food, water and medicine? What will happen to them in the uncertain ocean? Death is on their way. They have already been more than two months in the ocean. They are starving and dehydrated and sick. There are large numbers of women and children in the boats.

From January to March 2015, an estimated 25,000 ethnic Rohingya and Bangladeshi became boat people. Thousands more ethnic Rohingyas will flee the country if Myanmar does not stop the prosecution on ethnic Rohingyas and recognise Rohingyas as citizens by law.

If ASEAN and the United Nations fail to resolve the Rohingya plight with Myanmar, the world will continue to see Rohingya boat people who risk their lives to seek refuge in other countries. It will become a catastrophe that the world cannot forget.

Boat People 2We are very frustrated with the UN Human Rights Commissioner (UNHCR) as they are keeping quiet at this very critical time. Human lives are at risk but UNHCR remains quiet. We are talking about asylum seekers who are persons of concerns to UNHCR but what are they doing?UNHCR must play a vital role in the whole issue of Rohingya. We cannot see the role of UNHCR except renewing the UNHCR cards held by refugees as they are no longer registering newly-arrived Rohingya asylum seekers.

Boat People 3Don’t we have the feeling to make a search and rescue first and later decide on how to resolve the issue? Don’t we have the feeling that lives must be saved first before we decide on the rest? Do we feel these boat people lives are very cheap and valueless? Don’t we have the feeling to see babies, children, women and elderly suffers along their way to seek refuge in other place? Don’t we realise how dangerous the way that they had gone through for the sake of their lives?We thank very much the Kelab Putra Satu Malaysia who have come forward to help the newly-arrived Rohingya asylum seekers. We really appreciate what you have done to help us since the conflict in 2012 in our country. We continuously look for your love and support for us.

We heard some people suggesting that aid be sent to the boat people in the ocean. This is a temporary help to them, but we cannot be sending food and water to them every day, for how long? A solution must be found.

Do we wait to search for dead bodies?

We do not know if these boats still have petrol. If the petrol is finished we do not know where they will arrive and how far they can go. Can we just wait and see what will happen to them? Do we wait to search for their dead bodies after their boats have sunk in the ocean? We appeal to ASEAN and other countries such as Australia to initiate search and rescue mission.

Boat People 4Some ASEAN countries including Malaysia have signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These two conventions apply regardless of nationality and immigration status. Therefore we urge the Malaysia and other ASEAN countries to give immediate protection to asylum seekers, especially women and children, as they are vulnerable.

We urge the ASEAN governments to ensure that that the boat people are rescued and be given treatment first before they die. Meanwhile, the ASEAN governments and the United Nations must meet immediately to find solutions to the Rohingya plight. The United Nations and the UNHCR specifically must intervene urgently as this involves the lives of asylum seekers who require international protection.

We hope very much that the Malaysian government will play its role as much as possible as chair of ASEAN  and member of the UN Security Council to help us.

We urge the United States government and other countries to give urgent protection and immediate documentation and resettlement to these victims of human trafficking under the Trafficking in Persons Act.

We urge UNHCR to step in and have a meeting with Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian government for the documentation process by both UNHCR and the respective governments.

We urge the United Nations to play a vital role to stop genocide towards ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar. Economic and political sanctions must be made on Myanmar in order to compel Myanmar to stop the genocide towards ethnic Rohingya who are the most prosecuted ethnic group in the world.

We urge the Myanmar government to come forward and attend the meeting in Bangkok to address the whole longstanding Rohingya plight.

We urge the ASEAN governments to crack down on human trafficking networks. All Agencies in ASEAN must work in a comprehensive framework to stop human trafficking. Stern action must be taken on human traffickers and their networks. In lights of this new development, a comprehensive action plan needs to be developed to curb human trafficking starting from the host country, transit and destination countries.

All ASEAN countries must be involved

We urge Malaysia as the chair of ASEAN to seek a specific meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting must involve all ASEAN countries as Rohingya boat people will arrive not only in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia but also in other ASEAN countries in future. Previously Rohingyas had arrived in Cambodia and Singapore.

We urge ASEAN and the United Nations to continuously pressure the Myanmar government to stop continuous persecution on ethnic Rohingya and recognise Rohingya as citizens under the 1982 Citizenship Law.

The Besieged Malaysia EmperorIn this very critical situation, Merhrom urges the United Nations Security Council, US government, British government, European Union, world leaders, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), ASEAN and other international communities to help.

We hope very much the meeting in Bangkok will find immediate and long-term solutions to the Rohingya plight.


ZAFAR AHMAD ABDUL GHANI is president of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom).

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6 THOUGHTS ON “TIME FOR ASEAN AND THE UNITED NATIONS TO ACT”

  1. The Plight of the Rohingyas (and the Bangladeshis) requires urgent ASEAN attention and the support of the international community. We have a human tragedy in the making. Will Najib take the initiative to convene an urgent meeting in Kuala Lumpur or will he remain silent? –Din Merican

  2. Send all refugees to their home countries and take action against the regimes who created this human calamity.
    Looking after refugees only rewards the perpetrators of the crisis and rewards them and may not help the refugees in the long run.

    Be practical and reasonable. Individuals are not willing to tack care of their own needy and elderly parents even when they are rich and even less help to relatives/others so why would anyone wanting to take care of foreigners who are not willing to fight for their rights.?

  3. Najib is somewhat preoccupied these days. But he may well convene a KL meeting if only to distract his critics and to position himself …like he did following MH17.

    That aside, the refugee problem, especially in this part of the world, has no practical short term solution in sight.

    While humanitarian assistance may be rendered wherever and whenever possible to comfort those ‘adrift’ in no man’s land or waters, local and regional politics, ethnic/religious/cultural differences, overpopulation and economic stresses militate against any ‘permanent resettlement’ option.

    Over the longer term, a solution of sorts may be arrived at if pressure is consistently applied on the Myanmar regime by ASEAN together with a package of incentives to reverse its policies. But given that this is a self-serving group firmly anchored on the ‘see no evil’ principle, that too is not likely anytime soon.

    In the meantime, many more lives will be lost even as the misery of the survivors multiplies with each passing day.

    In any case, while the politicians do what they do best in these circumstances, we may wonder why the refugees are reportedly having a preference for Malaysia as their final destination. Could it be that many of their kin are already here as legals and illegals thanks to UMNO’s Jabatan Imigresen? Are we reaping the fruits of our short term policies and short-sighted solutions which have seen tens of millions from this region in our petrol stations, farms, factories, construction sites and the growing “security industry”? Are these new immigrants and transients serving as magnets for those on the boats?

  4. Political and economic migrants have become a problem for concern in many parts of r world. It is good to get the UN and regional Organisations involved. While we address the pull factors we must not forget the push factors and exporting countries have a greater responsibility to bear than those countries that are the target of this migration.

  5. “Time for ASEAN and the United Nations to act”

    Will Najib take the initiative to convene an urgent meeting in Kuala Lumpur or will he remain silent? –Din Merican

    This is the time for urgent and decisive action. Forcing Myanmar out of ASEAN is not an option. Instead, ASEAN needs to engage in a consultative dialogue with the military junta towards finding a lasting solution to the Rohingya issue.–Din Merican

    ASEAN can no longer remain quiet when it comes to human rights, human trafficking, cross border crimes, terrorism and other security in its member states. Non-interference has its limits. The plight of minorities and religious extremism in ASEAN, for example, must be the business of each and every member of the grouping.–Din Merican

    Dato’,

    Yes indeed.

    But has the present Chair of ASEAN the intelligence, courage & “Gumption” to “initiate” any urgent & decisive action…???

    Nov 12, 2014 – Asean bloc meet in Myanmar to discuss Ebola and IS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxtZb4LcE9E

    Nice rhetoric speech he made, ofcourse it was prepared by his International PR Guru, who we all know about…!

    https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/full-text-of-najibs-speech-at-26th-asean-summit-opening-ceremony/

    “…Responding to the pressure, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said his country already had 120,000 illegal migrants from Myanmar and the “humanitarian catastrophe” was a global issue to be resolved by the international community.]

    “We allow some of them to land and provide humanitarian aid to them but Malaysia must not be burdened with this problem as there are thousands more waiting to flee from their region,” Najib told the state news agency Bernama on Saturday….”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/16/us-asia-migrants-idUSKBN0O105H20150516

    Hello, Jibby, what about the speech you made at the 26th ASEAN summit…?

    This is his 1st test case as Chair of ASEAN…

    Is it another case of “I want my mommy” again, everytime he is faced with any challenge …???

    You be the judge.

  6. I cannot help but to think that this issue is a well planned agenda of the west & its supporters to rid of the planets Muslim population, or at least minimising its population growth rate. Almost every corner of the world today the Muslims are either at war against each other or are being the targets for ‘ethnic-cleansing’.

    The famous lady of modern day Myanmar, seemed speechless on the matter despite being held so highly for her unwavering stand on human-right issues. Are the people of Myanmar racists for ignoring the plight of their fellow Rohingyas? Why must other ASEAN nations be forced to accommodate the fleeing boat-people?

    Do not get me wrong, I’m sure all of the governments affected by the fleeing Rohingyas have its own matters to attend to. Having to take in these refugees will open the doors to many other issues ie their living conditions, nourishment, health-care & safety.

    We must tackle the matter from its roots. Myanmar government should persecute those who incite hatred amongst its citizens with stiffer punishments. Especially to those who hold high positions in religious entities. Else, they’re no different from IS who even the majority Muslims worldwide are condemning.

    Why Muslims at large are victimized is for another chapter to follow.

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